Gauhati High Court Gives A Breather To Arunachal Pradesh’s Congress Government

GUWAHATI/ITANAGAR: After two days of political drama, the Gauhati High Court has put on hold the assembly proceedings in Arunachal Pradesh, providing a breather to the Congress government which was “voted out” and a Speaker who was “impeached”, by a group of BJP and rebel Congress lawmakers operating from makeshift premises. The court’s interim order has put a freeze on all assembly proceedings till February 2.

Gauhati High Court Gives A Breather To Arunachal Pradesh's Congress Government

Here are the latest developments:
  1. While delivering its verdict following an appeal by Speaker Nabam Rebia, the court called the actions of Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa “partisan”. On December 9, the Governor had advanced the assembly session by nearly a month – to December 18 — for an impeachment motion against the Speaker.
  2. Questioning the Governor’s action, the state government had sealed the assembly building two days ago.
  3. On Wednesday, hours after government sealed the assembly building, 21 rebel Congress lawmakers and 11 lawmakers of the BJP met at a community hall. The deputy speaker presided over the meeting and ‘impeached’ the Speaker.
  4. This morning, the assembly ‘convened’ at a hotel and a ‘no-trust motion’ was passed against the state government. Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and his 26 supporting lawmakers boycotted the proceedings, terming them “illegal and unconstitutional”.
  5. Thirty-three of the 60-member House — including 20 dissident Congress lawmakers — later “elected” another dissident Congressman, Kalikho Pul, as the new “chief minister” of the state.
  6. “Assembly session cannot be held from someplace else,” Chief Minister Tuki told NDTV. “The order of the Governor to advance assembly session was unconstitutional and for political vendetta.” Earlier this week, Mr Tuki had requested the Governor to recall the order, which was turned down.
  7. The Congress — which had been disrupting Parliament for two days over the events in Arunachal Pradesh — says the Governor had rescheduled the session without consulting the chief minister.
  8. Senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Governor, “teaming up with the Centre, instead of protecting state and country, is making a sensitive state vulnerable”. “It is probably the first time that the Central government is supposed to be protectors of Constitution, instead Centre is destroying constitution,” Mr Azad said.   
  9. Mr Tuki has written to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking that they intervene in the matter.
  10. The Congress has been accusing the BJP of trying to engineer defections in the state. The BJP contends that a leadership tussle is on within the Congress, leading to grievances among its legislators.